Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has identified the top ten food trends that will be served on restaurant menus and line supermarket shelves across the U.S. in 2014. With a breadth and depth of culinary experience, the brand strategy, research, innovation, and communications firm has counseled and created foods for companies ranging from organic startups to many of the world’s largest food companies.
In 2014, consumers will continue to seek healthy options, but with an occasional indulgent splurge. Look for these food trends to go big next year as they move from cutting-edge to mainstream:
- Lemon Steps into the Sun: The often unmentioned brightener of dressings and sauces, lemon shines as a main ingredient in its purest freshest juice or preserved form.
- Tea Leaves the Cup: Black, green, and other leafy brews will bring a healthy, flavorful twist to dinner, desserts, and more.
- The Middle Eastern Mediterranean: Middle Eastern seasonings such as sumac, za’atar, and marash will expand the boundaries – and flavor profile – of traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
- Dairy Goes Nuts: Milk made from cashews, almonds, and peanuts bring dairy-free, luscious flavors to sauces, drinks, and dinners.
- The Year of the Yolk: The creamy, decadent, golden globe will reign – adding richness previously provided by cheese, dairy, and sauces.
- Refined Classic American Eats: Move over burgers and fries – wedge salads doused in creamy Caesar and other upscale classics take center plate.
- The Return of Poaching and Steaming: Goodbye bland – wine, coffee, beer, and smoky liquids replace water for more flavorful dishes.
- Seaweed Goes Beyond Sushi: Nutritious and full of deep, salty flavor, seaweed shows up as a snack, umami-rich seasoning, and more.
- No Ordinary Pasta: Traditional pastas take a backseat to noodles made of alternative flours, seasoned with global spices, and formed into new shapes of all sizes.
- The New Flavors of Farm-to-Table: Exotic meat – goat, rabbit and pigeon – raised by small-scale producers offer new feel-good protein choices.